Racquets

Murray and Sharapova

To the uninformed tennis racquets look a daunting prospect; cosmetically they look similar but it is what they are made of that counts.

General “rules of thumb”

More expensive racquets are made of better materials and will perform better. We stock good ranges of Babolat, Head & Wilson

It is important to match a racquet to the individual; racquets are designed for different swing characteristics.

Heavier racquets have more power and are more stable than lighter ones; the caveat to this is that to get the benefits of a heavier racquet you have to have longer faster swing.

A higher string tension will give you more control whereas a lower tension will offer more power. Most factory racquets are strung to a mid tension.

Senior racquets are mostly 27” although some may be slightly longer. They come in different grip sizes that are measured in inches. Most ladies would be grip size 2/3; most men would be grip size 3/4.

Grip size 2 = 4 1/4”

Grip size 3 = 4 3/8”

Grip Size 4 = 4 1/2”

Junior racquets range in length from 17” – 26”, as the frame gets bigger so does the grip. They do give age recommendations but a good general test is to get the child to place the butt of the racquet in their armpit and reach their arm forward. If the racquet is the right size the tips of their fingers should reach the end.

 Size 17/19” – Age 2-4                  Size 21” – Age 4-5

Size 23” – Age 6-7                        Size 25 – Age 8-10

Size 26” – Age 11+ In this size we have better graphite racquets for good junior players

Frame Construction

The most basic frames are made of aluminium; these are cost effective and are fine for juniors but when in the hands of adult they have limited durability and performance. Price range £18 - £26

Up from this you have racquets that are a mixture of aluminium and fibreglass. The added fibreglass makes the racquets stiffer (stiffer racquets mean more power as there is less energy wasted when you hit the ball); also they are generally a one piece construction which gives greater torsional strength. The most basic frames are essentially a piece of aluminium shaped in to a hoop and held together by a plastic throat section. When the racquet is one piece it has a much better resistance to twisting with off centre shots.

These aluminium/fibreglass composites generally range in price in from £30 - £60 although some brands such as Karakal make a full graphite racquet at £50. This represents excellent value.

Racquets priced from £60 upwards are all fundamentally full graphite racquets. This means they are stiffer and therefore more powerful. From here you start to have racquets that are designed for players with different swing speeds (see below). Each manufacturer claims to have different technologies in their racquets but essentially they are all trying to give more power with enhanced feel.  

Short & Slow Swing - Players who are looking for some extra power

Where these players have short and slow swing they require the racquet to generate the power in their shots. Ideally they would prefer a light frame for manoeuvrability and a larger head so that they have more power. The downside to this is that you lose some control.

Frame weight           240g – 270g

Head size                105 square inch +

Medium Swing – Intermediate players

These players are generally recreational players and lower level club players. Some of these racquets would also be suitable for decent younger players that are looking for their first senior racquet. The racquets are mid weight with a good compromise of power and control.

Frame weight                    260g – 280g

Head Size                100 square inch +

Long & Fast Swing – Better players and those who hit the ball hard

These are for generally better players and mostly men who hit the ball hard but are looking for more control. The heavier weight of these racquets give the power but the smaller head size gives a greater level of control of control that better players require.

Frame weight           280g+

Head size                90 – 100 square inch

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